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Author Topic: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit  (Read 15024 times)

Matthew Chan

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I have received new information that Higbee & Associates is now sending out template lawsuits along with their written communications to help give more teeth to their enforcement attempts. This follows the last report I made regarding Higbee's office being more assertive and making phone calls to letter recipients.

One important piece of information that appears to have been uncovered is that Nick Youngson appears to operate as RM Media Ltd.

The first record I found on RM Media Ltd. (Hilton Hall, Hilton Lane, Wolverhampton, England, WV112BQ) is this one:
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07478681/filing-history

It was incorporated in December 29, 2010 and then dissolved on January 31, 2012. I cannot tell exactly but it might have been he did not pay his annual registration fees so it was dissolved by the registrar agency.

However, I found another RM Media Ltd. registration. It is from 2016. Check out these two links:
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10103835/filing-history
https://www.endole.co.uk/company/10103835/rm-media-ltd

This one was filed recently in April 5, 2016.

I don't know the legalities here and will look into this further but Higbee is implying (through the template lawsuit) that if Nick Youngson decides to take court actions in the U.S., it would be under RM Media Ltd., NOT under his personal name. However, all the copyright registrations I have seen so far are under his name, NOT RM Media Ltd.

It is conceivable and possible for Nick to file a lawsuit in the U.S. under RM Media Ltd. but I believe there might be some legal acrobatics required to do so since the copyright registrations are under his name as an individual. Generally speaking, only copyright holders can file lawsuits unless there is some transfer or assignment of copyright.

Similar tactics were seen in the Righthaven lawsuits (several years ago and subsequently put out of business by its many enemies). Federal court judges frowned upon transfers and assignments for the sole purpose of filing copyright infringement lawsuits. Any copyright infringement defense lawyer would probably want to ask and probe for such documents to find out why RM Media Ltd. are bringing any potential lawsuits, and not Nick Youngson, personally.

As always, check back for additional reports and information we uncover.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 03:13:21 AM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2017, 03:25:32 PM »
Just received the template lawsuit accompanying yet another demand letter.  Plaintiff is listed as RM Media Ltd yet copyright registration certificate is in the name of Nicholas Youngson.

Now what?

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 03:35:53 PM »
There is nothing actionable at this point. This is simply informative for people to understand the subtleties that often go unnoticed or understand the relevance.  People just see the template lawsuit and it means very little to most people because they don't look at some of the details as closely as I do.

I don't think it will be so easy to explain any lawsuit that might be filed under RM Media Ltd. when the copyright certificate is in Nick's name.  That is my point. It is an issue to consider and argument point in my view.

Now what?
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 03:45:29 PM »
Thanks Matthew.  They gave a 15 day time frame in which to respond otherwise they claim they'll file the suit.  I'm just gonna wait it out.

Question:  can a UK company file in a U.S. Federal Court?  I understand that even U.S. corps need to be registered "to do business" in a State in order to avail itself to the State courts.  Not sure if this applies to Federal courts as well. 

Also, is this a typical Higbee strategy at this point?  Are many other having the same situation? 

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 04:12:23 PM »
Higbee & Associates as the new kid is traveling a road we have seen in the past.  As word gets out on them (because people keep reporting information to me), they are bumping around in the night trying different (but familiar to us) tactics and strategies to intimidate people into paying.

Higbee is traveling down a path very similar to Timmy McCormack who used to work for Getty Images.

And yes, there are MANY people getting Higbee letters over the Youngson lack of attribution issue.  It is turning out to be one nice honeypot for Youngson and Higbee.

I continue to be surprised by the number of people being ensnared in all this.

And I believe a UK corporate entity could hire a US lawyer to represent their interests in a lawsuit. But that doesn't mean it would go very far either. It all depends on how much work and effort they want to pursue. It also depends on how savvy and determined a defendant is also in fighting back.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 04:14:44 PM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2017, 04:21:01 PM »
Thanks again Matthew. 

But, as far as you are aware, RM and Youngson (via Higbee) has yet to sue anyone?

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 09:27:56 AM »
Am I correct in the assumption Youngson is only filing under his company to shield his personal assets from counterclaims or whatever else could (and eventually will) go wrong from his scheme?

I wanted to thank you for this site. My family has four lawyers in it, and they all pounced on this immediately after my letter from Higbee, and the summary is just as you've been preaching... these form letters are designed to scare the shit out of you, but the numbers are based on a great deal of worst case scenarios that I'd wager most of us aren't even in. Willful infringement (the $750 to $125000 number they will keep shoving down your throat) is not an easy sell for any plaintiff (unless you gave them the middle finger and left the image up), and it would be nightmare-level difficult in Youngon's case with his setup... judges aren't stupid. Legal fees from the defense aren't even close to guaranteed either. Youngson would risk going in the red with most of these innocent infringement cases when the statutory doesn't offset the cost to file and the legal fees.

That being said, two of my family lawyers think Higbee is going to sue everyone anyway. If you dodge the dozens of planted reviews and false 5 star ratings, and even some fake comments from people who supposedly got sued and lost thousands because they rubbed him the wrong way... there's a lot of reviews and complaints that this firm has screwed clients. You combine that with this guy's obvious desperation to seem legitimate ("we are a NATIONAL LAW FIRM. I promise. Guys I'm serious. I promise its not just 2 dozen virtual offices.") I guess I could see him wanting to make some noise, regardless if it benefits his client or not. I hope they're wrong, a lot of legitimate businesses stand to suffer a lot of unwarranted stress for this guy's little man complex.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 02:11:12 PM by Five Zs »

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 12:09:41 PM »
First, I don't understand how RM Media has standing to sue when they are not the named copyright registrant.

Secondly, when they are faced with the entrapment defense, even if unsuccessful, the legal fees alone should make this a losing proposition for Youngson and Higbee.   

Nevertheless, I don't like just sitting back and hoping they don't sue. 


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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2017, 12:51:25 AM »
Not that I know of.

Thanks again Matthew. 

But, as far as you are aware, RM and Youngson (via Higbee) has yet to sue anyone?
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

Matthew Chan

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2017, 12:57:33 AM »
RM Media hasn't sued yet that I know of. They have only implied they might. You may not like sitting back but unless you decide to learn to live with the uncertainty or settle, that is largely what most people have to do.

I have said very often anyone can sue anyone for any reason. But it doesn't mean it will go very far or go all the way.

People can't have it both ways. If you don't want to settle or pay, fine, but then people have to learn to live with it and fight back.  It is a 3-year wait for that statute of limitations. So everyone needs to mark their calendars to ride the clock out.

I hear from people all the time saying "I want the letters/threats to stop". Well, that is a wet dream for most people. Negotiate and settle or get on Oscar Michelen's Defense Letter Program for $200-$250.

First, I don't understand how RM Media has standing to sue when they are not the named copyright registrant.

Secondly, when they are faced with the entrapment defense, even if unsuccessful, the legal fees alone should make this a losing proposition for Youngson and Higbee.   

Nevertheless, I don't like just sitting back and hoping they don't sue.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 05:01:48 PM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 01:30:44 PM »
Thank you Matthew.  Appreciate all that you do on this site.

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 01:35:50 PM »
I did some further research and investigation on Higbee.  It appears they have brought several copyright infringement suits in Federal Court around the country.  I've seen approximately ten suits from 2015 to date.  All suits are filed on behalf photographer plaintiffs (not Youngson or RM Media) and utilize the same cookie cutter complaint.  A review of the dockets for each case show that most did not last long and ended in a voluntary dismissal which leads me to believe that the defendant's settled up quickly.  Again, I found no suits brought by Youngson or RM, but definitely a bunch of similar type suits brought by Higbee. 

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2017, 04:17:03 PM »
List the cases that Higbee filed and let us get some eyeballs on it.

And yes, filing a lawsuit has a way of motivating settlements but it is not without its risks.  A risk of a countersuit by a creative individual tends to gum up the works.  Or some might be willing to go all the way in front of the judge to plead their case. Pro se people are able to do this with minimal expense. Lawyers HATE dealing with pro se defendants because there are many pitfalls and minefields that came up.

Also, there is the matter of some defendants actually being "collectable" or not otherwise it ends up being a paper judgment. There is also the matter that the media is more prone to stick their noses into such cases and cover the matter.  This does not enhance the overall goodwill of those who recklessly pursue everyone indiscriminately.

If it was such a foolproof method, there would be far more lawsuits filed.
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 12:07:34 PM »
Here are the most recent cases I've found filed by Higbee:

1.  Alex Maxim v. Skin Body Lounge, LLC, Case #17-00923 - C.D. Cal - filed 2/13/17

2.  Alexander Wild v. Core Pest Solutions, LLC, Case #17-00092 - W.D. Tex - filed 2/8/17

3.  Lived In Images, Inc. v. Arturo Fis, Case #16-01249 - C.D Cal - filed 7/16/16 - voluntary dismissal filed 8/23/16

4.  Jorge Salas v. Antonio Sandoval, et al., Case #16-02276 - C.D. Cal - filed 12/29/16

5.  Alex Wild Photography v. Griffin Pest Control, LLC, Casae 16-00010 - W.D. Tex - filed 1/6/16


Matthew Chan

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Re: Higbee & Assoc. Lists RM Media Ltd in Nick Youngson Template Lawsuit
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 01:59:03 PM »
It seems we have now established that Higbee has filed lawsuits on behalf of its clients but it is important to understand that the CLIENT has to agree and likely foot the bill for such an action. There is a fair chance that Nick Youngson/RM Media may want to test the waters by selectively choosing a victim to go after. By virtue of Higbee being in California, a victim in California is the most efficient for Higbee.  However, Youngson/RM Media is based in the UK which might present an extra obstacle/challenge to get over.

The general pattern in this set of lawsuits you shared is that most are focused in California.  They also fit the general pattern that traditional  brick and mortar businesses seem to be receiving lawsuits, not people who work at home.

Getting a lawsuit is no fun but it is not a catastrophic event. Having said that, as a practical matter, I do think some people are better off than others to try to negotiate a settlement at some point. It is a very personal choice. There is a fine line between rolling over too quickly and being an easy mark and putting up some resistance to get a better settlement.

Everyone pays one way or another. Even the people who don't financially pay expend lots of energy researching, reading, and worrying.  And there are people who are more risk-averse, more prone to stress, losing sleep, and getting ulcers, those are the people I recommend settling the matter.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 02:20:25 PM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

 

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